View Full Version : New Cubs
08-25-2003, 09:07 PM
From time to time, I hear about guys having new Cubs built by companies other than Cub Crafters. Are these all destined to be experimental? Who else is building them now?
08-25-2003, 09:37 PM
The FAA has put the kybosh on building new planes out of parts. This regulation is in review since Piper complained about Cub Crafters. Cub Crafters is trying to get an FAA "Type Certificate" on the "Top Cub PA-18-180" since Piper only built the "Piper PA-18-150". A way around the system.... If you want a new PA-18, then buy a used one, sell off all most of the parts and build a new plane around the data tag and misc. small parts. Crash
08-26-2003, 10:12 AM
My understanding from talking with Nathan Richmond (at the AK airmans show) and others, is that the FAA has put "on hold" anyone building a "certified" plane around a manufacturer's type certificate other then the TC holder. What I took this to mean is you could not build a "TJ PA-18-150" and get it signed off as a certified aircraft. You would have to go experimental. You might want to ask Pat Carty and see if he knows anything about this. Crash
08-26-2003, 11:35 AM
08-26-2003, 01:43 PM
The FAA says the spares and surplus parts regulation is still on the books, but you can't use it on a Supercub right now. The FSDO gets the ability to issue a TC delegated to them by the mfg division. Currently, the mfg division won't allow it. I was told I could probably build a warbird, just not a Supercub.
09-04-2003, 06:41 PM
I was talking to the guys at Cub Crafters today and this subject came up. What Nathan told me was that while the Regs regarding building up an airplane from parts did not change, the feds rewrote their procedures manual on how to do it. Sounds like whats needed now is not only prints but the actual engineereing data to back up the prints, Plus + Plus. In effect it makes it VERY difficult for someone to do a one off certified copy.
09-04-2003, 07:40 PM
From time to time, I hear about guys having new Cubs built by companies other than Cub Crafters. Are these all destined to be experimental? Who else is building them now?
You know you can buy a 200 hour 1994 Piper supercub for about 50,000 less than a Top Cub just in case you wanted to know. And probably like new condition.
09-05-2003, 01:34 PM
09-05-2003, 10:53 PM
And this is precisely the issue the FAA is concerned about regarding Cub Crafters. It may well be that Piper is leaning on the FAA (I suspect that if someone kills themselves in a Cub Crafters airplane, they'll still sue New Piper, since they "designed" the airplane.
The other issue is that the Cub Crafters airplanes never comply with the type certificate data sheet, which belongs to Piper. The airplanes are highly modified from the git go. Other regions of FAA would never permit a manufacturer to build a highly modified (even with stc's) airplane on someone else's type certificate. That's what they seem to be trying to address.
The Super Cub is a great airplane. Cub Crafters is not building a Super Cub, though. Most Super Cubs have a lot of modifications on them, to make the owner happy mostly, and/or to improve performance.
So, the question is: What is a "Super Cub"?
And the answer is: About four thousand quite different airplanes.
There used to be a guy in Massachusets, I believe, who, if you brought him a data plate from a Beech Model 17 staggerwing, would build you one in whatever color you liked. He may also be out of business, if all this goes through, but frankly, I sympathize with Piper on this one. I really believe they'll be a party to any suit on a CC Cub.
09-06-2003, 02:23 AM
After all is said and done, a good late model $70 to $80,000 PA-18 with a Borer prop, tundra tires and H.D. gear is hard to beat. If I had some extra money laying around, I'd throw on a light weight starter, battery under the pilot seat, L-40 B&C alternator with LR3 alternator, rear mount light weight oil cooler, Atlee Dodge extended baggage, and a Firman belly pod. These are the only mods I'd make until it was time for recover. Crash
09-06-2003, 07:48 AM
I really hope they can get a TC of their own and keep building Cubs.
It will be interesting to see what is included on the TC. It won't be a PA18-150 anymore like they are now, so I suppose you wouldn't be able to put Federal skis, EDO floats, or do anything else that is on the current TC.
And none of the current PA18 STC's are going to apply. All the aftermarket mods, like floats, skis, bellypods, etc., will all have to be recertified on this "new" aircraft.
I wonder if I will be able to legally install a old stock Piper part, or even a Univair, Atlee, or some other PMA'ed PA18 part on a new TC'ed Top Cub? I would guess that all the aftermarket venders will have to get new PMA's for their stuff. It will be interesting to see how they work it out, I can only imagine the paperwork nightmare they are going through.
09-06-2003, 08:22 AM
09-06-2003, 09:28 AM
And, sorry, I should have noted in my last post that, in my opinion, Cub Crafters is in fact building a very nice airplane. I didn't mean to come across as being negative on their product.
My point was simply that what they build really isn't a "Piper Super Cub", even if you add the CC prefix. And, that's okay. There are a lot of reasons these airplanes have been modified over the years, many of them pretty good reasons.
09-06-2003, 10:32 AM
Nathan told me that the Feds ,and Piper were pretty much leaving them alone on the building from parts issue. Pipers big thing is over using the term "Super Cub". The Feds came in and audited CC building procedures and found everything fine. In fact the new procedures manual the Feds are using for building from parts is probably patterned on the CC program.
09-08-2003, 01:59 PM
Cub Crafters is indeed producing new 180HP aircraft that conform to the Piper TC AND STC data. We are not allowed any deviation from approved data, and every one of the new airplanes goes through a strict conformity inspection.
We are also working on a new TC . . . hopefully this will allow us to continue to improve the airplane with fewer headaches!
09-09-2003, 08:41 AM
Is Piper building any SC now? What has happened to Piper and Who owns them? Why don't they get back into the market. I would think that there is a market out there for the go old SC with some minor mods to beef up their airframe.
Thanks for clearing that up for us. It is all very corn-fusing for some of us (like me).
09-09-2003, 10:00 AM
I am just guessing here, but I suspect the reason NewPiper isn't interested in building new Super Cubs has to do the the liabilities associated with the airplane.
If you'll remember, Piper lost a VERY ugly (and very bizarre) lawsuit some time ago in which the aggrieved asserted (and the court found and upheld on appeal) that the Super Cub is "an inherently hazardous design", ie: a tailwheel airplane, and that, while seated in the rear seat, which is approved as a PIC seat, there is inadequate visibility over the nose. They also faulted Piper for not having installed shoulder harnesses.
There was a big settlement, and the whole thing was absolutely crazy, but later, when Cessna's Russ Meyer was announcing plans for new Cessnas, and asked if Cessna would build a new 180/185, his response referenced that lawsuit, and basically said that Cessna was never going to build tailwheel airplanes again.
Sure a good thing the fellow who filed that lawsuit wasn't a WW II fighter pilot, I guess.
As a point of information, if anyone is interested in reading the case. I believe that mvivion was referencing the case, Cleveland v. Piper, 890 F.2d 1540 (10th Cir. 1989).
09-09-2003, 10:46 AM
09-09-2003, 11:23 PM
Thanks, Cleveland v Piper it was, and for any of you who need a real eye opener, or want to see just how gullible a jury can be, you really owe it to yourself to read it.
Next time you think you are safe from litigation, remember this one. It is truly bizarre.
yeah the fact pattern is quite interesting. Mr. Cleveland was a glider tower who removed the front seat and created some set up for a camera. He then flew the supercub from the back seat. The owner of the airport apparently had some concerns about FAA compliance at the glider towing operation and closed the airport. In addition to closing the airpor he parked vehicles across the runway to prevent takeoffs. Mr. Cleveland attempted to take off and crashed into a van blocking the end of the runway. As mentioned in an earlier post, Mr. Cleveland (through his wife) asserted that the Supercub was a poor design because it didn't have sufficient visibility from the rear and did not have shoulder belts.
It was also hard to see around the camera, which was also the super cubs fault.
If I read the facts correctly it sounds even more interesting than just the difficulty of seeinng around a camera mounted in the front seat. It sounds like there was a passenger sitting facing backwards in the front seat on two by fours and a furniture pad. This passenger was operating the camera set up.
That's why people like to sue someone else for their own stupidity. Get paid for doing something outrageous - gotta be better than working for a living. And the lawyers are more than happy to cooperate with these idiots.
It just really sucks to think that some freaking idiot and a bunch of lawyers had such a big hand in screwing this up for everyone.
I know that back in the day most aircraft were taildraggers and you would have never heard someone whining that it was too hard to fly, you just did it. If you got hurt, it was your own damn fault and if you survived, then it made you a better pilot.
Now, it seems like people are so quick to point the finger at someone else, especially if they think there is possible monetary gain. Like this Cleveland idiot and his stupid wife, maybe she should have thought a little bit before she married a damn fool. If you think about it, she is probably better off today. She is rid of her idiot hubby and has a large settlement and a judgement that has basically ceased the production of new tailwheel aircraft. What a bitch.
I think lawyers are the worst. They chip away at our freedom every single day by taking the focus away from personal responsibility and common sense. I wonder what would have happened if the jury would have been made up of taildragger pilots? After all, those were his peers.
McDonald's is damn lucky there was no hot coffee in the cockpit or they would be gone now too.
This discussion quickly seems to be delving into the realm of a rant and rave rather than discussion regarding the demise of new tailwheel aircraft (however maule, cub crafters, and luscombe are currently producing tailwheel planes so even this might not be a correct statement either.)
We should remember that we are talking about a person who did incur serious injuries and perhaps show some compasion for the injured, though the record does suggest that these injuries came as a result of darwinism. In the case the jury did apportion 50% of the injuries to Mr. Cleveland.
Deleted---- due to my insensitivity to greedy trial lawyers and their clients.
09-10-2003, 05:15 PM
<snip> ibid above.
09-10-2003, 05:29 PM
Well actually I think they singled out piper but I think they should have gone after a few more people...
How about the Camera manufacturer, lumber yard or manufacturer, furnature pad manufacturer...Oh by the way were these PMA'd, STC'd, TSO'd, Field approved for the plane??? OH what about the airworthiness cert..NORMAL or ?????? for this operation...
In addition to the other involved parties I almost forgot that you should have also gone after the Vehicle manufacture, glider manufacturer, tow rope manufacturer, Oh yeah while we are at it, maybe the gas/oil supplier and maybe the camera operator as he was dangerously operating it????
DELETED REMAINDER...UNAPPROPRIATE FOR HERE...
Piper was likely singled out because it was viewed as having deep pockets. Torts are about compensation of the injured party very little compensation can come from parties without money. However I find it incredulous to go after aircraft manufacturers. Haven't they been in financial straits since the late 70s?
09-10-2003, 05:49 PM
I deleted alot of that post before as I was RANTING AND RAVING and I cant stand the RANTS and Raves section and dont even belong to that group :agrue: and refuse to even go there... Sometimes I just cant keep my mouth shut but I wanted to comment on that case...
SORRY TO ALL for helping derail this thread.....
09-10-2003, 06:19 PM
It's too bad that 90% of the lawyers give the other 10% a bad reputation.
I am tempted to split this off to rant and rave if it gets any worse. It started out as good information and turned into a whiner fest, but we seem to be getting back in line.
We can sure move part of it to rant and rave where you can continue your ranting and raving on the ills of anyone that has a different perspective.
09-10-2003, 10:12 PM
Getting back to the Piper lawsuit and the precident it set, it sure seems like it could be used by someone to go after anybody producing a similar aircraft, ie. any taildragger. How can maule, cc, and apparently luscombe produce tail draggers knowing this is there, sort of hanging over their heads? Is there any defense against taildraggers being considered by the court as dangerous?
Cessna has some classic similar lawsuits against it. The guy who's seat slid back in the 185 and crippled him, even though he did NOT do the inspections on the seat track...
Just like the Ford Explorer that rolls over with underinflated tires at 90mph, American's do not like to be responsible for thier own actions...
09-10-2003, 11:00 PM
Sorry, I didn't really intend to start a rant, though in retrospect, this case sure got me to thinking, as noted above.
Please note that Mr. Cleveland is alive, and a paraplegic, as I understand it, not deceased.
Frankly, in defense of attorneys, I suspect that Piper didn't take this suit seriously enough, since it was so "obvious" that it was a bizarre claim. My understanding was that the initial court proceeding was not well represented by Piper, and they lost.
The attorneys can tell you more about this, but my understanding is that an appeal simply judges whether the facts of law were observed in the initial trial, it does not necessarily "re-try" the case. At the point of appeal, Piper was essentially lost.
There was an appeal, in the Circuit Court, which upheld the decision, and it was then appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. Thus, it stands.
There was indeed a camera person sitting facing backwards where the front seat should have been. Had they been secured by a shoulder harness, perhaps they could have sued Piper as well.
I don't think we need to crusade against attorneys, but it sure would be hard for me to sleep at night if I was the guy who tried this one.
Sorry for stirring the rants, but people need to understand just how stupid juries can be, and how exposed you can be if you do something in an airplane. Everybody knows that airplane owners are all millionaires, right???????
In the case piper seems to focus in on federal preemption of state claims. It appears that the approach they tried to take was that because the aircraft was certified by the FAA, then it was certified not to have design flaws in the states as well. There is an interesting federalism component to this case. One which piper did not win. I also agree with the idea that perhaps this case wasn't treated as serious as it should have been, but that's pure speculation on my part.
09-11-2003, 12:01 PM
Back to new cubs, I rebuilt my 1953 SC from the paperwork up after a serious hanger fire. It is essentially a 2003 SC with 1953 paperwork. Are we talking about the same thing or is this perfectly legal ?
David, I believe that this discussion was initially framed around constructing a new supercub from the ground up like CubCrafters does. It sounds like you, on the other hand, rebuilt yours around your data plate. I believe that from reading through the discussions here that those are viewed differently (probably some technical differentiation between a rebuild and a new construction.) I'm not sure of the different regulations governing these two... perhaps the cubcrafters website might provide some assistance, or some of the other members might have a greater knowledge in the area, perhaps nathan from cub crafters may weigh in on the subject here. You don't need to worry about the later parts of this discussion because they dwell on trying to determine why Piper no longer manufactures this very popular plane that we all love.
09-11-2003, 05:05 PM
I think lawyer jokes are great, so are the ones about Brewster the Rooster. However, perhaps those of you who hate lawyers should take a moment to ask Randy Weaver how he feels about legal representation. :o
09-11-2003, 05:12 PM
09-11-2003, 05:24 PM
Ruby Ridge incident in Idaho, you can do a search in Google.com. It makes my blood boil every time I think about it. My point was that sometimes a lawyer is the only defense you have against a bigger fish. Food for thought anyway :morning:
09-11-2003, 10:28 PM
The only reply i can really suggest is to read the case. It seems to me that the court isn't going off on this "supercubs are deathtraps" approach that we all feel was the actual result. the case really isn't this black or white. rather it is quite complex and there appears to be several issues (federalism primarily, and new mexico state law as well, others too though) on top of the design issues. I'd suggest reading the case if you really are interested in it. It sounds to me like we're discussing this issue not on what we've actually found but rather what someone else has told us happened-- much like a big game of telephone.
09-12-2003, 11:18 AM
Gunny, if you take it one item at a time with airframe log book entries like: 1) replaced fuselage with FAA PMA'ed fuselage Mfg #0000456. 2) Replaced wings with FAA PMA'ed wings PN 120956, etc. etc. it is no big deal. You're removing FAA certified parts off a certified aircraft and replacing them with new certified parts. There is nothing in the rules preventing you from doing this. You need an A&P to sign it off the work and an AI to sign off and return it to service. This is what I am doing. Crash
09-12-2003, 11:33 AM
Reality time. Aircraft manufacturers have been sued and have lost seemingly stupid lawsuits that involved nose-draggers, too. The other reality is that the market for taildraggers is so limited, the manufacturer's can't be profitable producing them. I've asked the "why no taildragger" question while talking to reps of both Piper and Cessna. Their answers were similar in that the market for taildraggers is very limited, mostly it consists of Alaska and Canada. That market is too small, especially considering the used airplanes that are available. Piper's guy also said that tube and fabric would require completely different manufacturing facilities AND staff than their current product line uses, and the market doesn't support the investment. Small manufacturers may survive. I doubt the Richmonds are getting rich selling TopCubs at $150K. With Piper's overhead, they'd have to charge even more. How many of us would spend $200K for a stock Cub? Cessna isn't meeting their own sales projections with their nose draggers. $325K for a 206 that weighs more and performs worse than a used one that's less than half the price. A new Cub would suffer the same fate. Heavy and expensive. It won't happen.
Well articulated answer. I submit that you have hit the nail on the head. For a number of reasons general aviation aircraft production is not a very high profit margin field so if any factors create a situation, which eats away the margins any more, in the essence of survival the companies must adapt by cutting those lines with the lowest margins.
09-12-2003, 07:33 PM
Okay. Thanks for that - that happened during the 15 years I was out of the country.
On new cubs - my '57 is in the process of becoming a 2003 with new stc'd wings, new pma'd fuselage, 180 engine stc etc. I guess it will be interesting to see how smoothly the paper work goes through although we do have a good data plate and all of the original paper work. I'll let you know what happens.
Gunny, that is exactly what I did. Paperwork was pretty strait forward, just log book entries n lot of stc's. What wings n tanks are you going with, n what fusalage ?
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